Paint Colors That Sell: Best Exterior Home Choices


best exterior paint colorsIf you read last week’s post about interior paint colors, you’ll know that the vast majority of REALTORS® agree: a fresh coat of paint can really help sell a house! Interior paint colors can create a welcoming space – an inviting blank slate – for potential buyers, but what about exterior paint colors?

Choosing the right paint for the exterior of a home requires taking a number of factors into account.

Here’s a short list of elements that might influence your color decision:

  • Architectural Style: Is the home built in a modern style? Is it a ranch? Victorian? Cape Cod?
  • Construction Materials: Things like brickwork or gingerbread trim may impact color choice.
  • Roof Color: If the house has a gray roof, a cool shade of slate will look better than warm cream.
  • Neighboring Homes: What colors did the neighbors use? Do your house fit in or stand out?
  • Stonework & Landscaping: How do the home’s surroundings affect paint color?

Ideally, the exterior paint color should appeal to the widest possible audience of buyers – this is not time to be idiosyncratic or sentimental.

See the picture of the house above? That is the home of Ruth Handler, the inventor of the Barbie doll. Those exterior paint colors may work for her, but a potential buyer would probably calculate in the cost of a paint job when drafting their offer.

White is a very popular home exterior choice. In fact, one survey revealed that nearly forty percent of people would choose white for their home. Other colors with almost universal appeal include subtle earth tones like light brown, light green and cream. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings, too. Homes in established, traditional neighborhoods may be painted medium to dark shades of brown, blue and gray.

best exterior paint colors sherwin

This soft green color scheme harmonizes with the gray roof and surrounding landscaping.

The basic tenet is to choose a color that enhances a building’s curb appeal, without making it look out of place. That said, what’s considered obnoxious in some areas may be par for the course in others:

best exterior paint colors

The ‘Painted Ladies’ of San Francisco encourage color choices that would likely be discouraged in a suburban neighborhood.

To sum it up, the best exterior paint color is one that suits your home and your ‘hood, and you’ll have an appealing listing that attracts buyers from the street and gets them in the door.

What if the seller doesn’t have the time/money to repaint the whole house?

If time or money is of the essence, concentrate your efforts and focus on just the front door. A beautifully painted front door welcomes buyers into the home and is a great way to add a small pop of color – just make sure it works with the existing colors on the rest of the house!

best exterior paint colors front door

A cheery marigold door adds a burst of color to a more traditional paint job.

What are the most common exterior paint colors in your area? Have you ever listed a wacky-colored house?


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